Plymouth (IN) head coach John Barron wasn't able to predict when his offensive lineman Dan Samuelson would make a college decision. When Samuelson chose Pittsburgh last week, Barron was pleasantly surprised. Pleasantly surprised with his choice of Pittsburgh, but also pleasantly surprised that Samuelson's college decision was done early.
"I think over the years of living in the shadow of the Golden Dome of Notre Dame, you read a lot how national recruitng goes," Barron said. "Selfishly, I'm glad it's over."
When Paul Chryst and his staff came in with their sales pitch, he not only saw a good opportunity, but also was impressed at how up front the staff was in all areas.
"Pitt did an outanding job, Paul will do a great job there," Barron added. "Jim Hueber, the offensive line coach, it can't get any better than that. There's a guy who has all kinds of experience. I read somehwere where they had nine first-round picks when they were at Wisconsin. That's saying something."
In a time where the Internet comes more into play in recruiting each year, and the way more schools are utilizing social networking into their recruiting efforts, Barron was all the more impressed in how Chryst and company were more direct both with him and his player. In other words, he feels the more personal approach the staff used by straight up just talking to them, went a long way.
"They didn't sound like a bunch of car salesmen, I'm really proud of the job they did," Barron said. "You can sit down and talk to any guy. Paul sat down and called me after one of his spring practices, and we talked for 45 minutes. That's the only head coach that sat down and called me like that. He's very down to earth, a genuine guy."
Another area that Barron felt was in Pitt's favor is the return to the pro-style offense. It matches Samuelson's style of play, but he also feels that Samuelson's blue-collar upbringing also meshes with the coaching staff's personality.
"He's a farm kid," Barron said. "He didn't grow up on a farm, but he grew up in a small town; he's lived out in a farm area his whole life. He's a big country boy. We like to run the football, and the type of offense Chryst wants to run fits his mold. He's 6-5, 290. He's very athletic. He's lean. He's not a fat kid. It's just a really good fit."
Barron feels there were a number of schools that Samuelson was impressed with. The fact Samuelson felt this comfortable with Pitt this early, says all the more about the job Pitt did in recruiting him.
"There were a lot of schools from back east that were interested; Boston College, West Virginia, Penn State," Barron added. "Dan was actually at the last game that Joe Paterno coached for Penn State, against Illinois. He's as big of a recruit as we've had, people from everywhere were interested in him. Pitt is top notch. It's not too far away. Dan has family friends that live close to there.
"There were a lot of really good conversations between him and the line coach. I just think at Pitt, I don't know what made him pull trigger, but I think it just felt good for him. I think what it comes down to, is with all the offers, he went with his gut feeling. He had enough advice form athletic directors, guidance counselors and coaches. Sometimes you get overlwhelmed, but he made the call on his gut feeling. It's obviously a great staff. They're going to be in the ACC in a year. Everything just fell into place. They're classy, high-quality people that do things the right way. Hopefully now he can just focus on finishing the fine high school career he's had here."